by John Sibley Williams

John Sibley Williams

for Jamaal May

Outside sheets are pulling
back together into bodies.

The wind confuses sway
with dance, asks the dresses

there’s no one left to wear
for one more go before

the music ends. We wait
for the well out back to

illuminate its drowned coins,
all the gods overrun by prayers

to choose just this one to answer.
We beat the rain from hanging

undershirts & sing like nothing
the sky can do can rust the birds

from our mouths. We promise
our children the world

is forever, that this time
the wolves won’t show.

The fields are smoke
& through the smoke

figures materialize.
Deer that might be

mothers or sisters, gutshot,
looking for a slice of shadow

to die in. So many hanging trees
we confuse with men.

Last updated November 25, 2022